Govt readies for mass cremation

Govt readies for mass cremation
Highlights

Hundreds of corpses decomposing rapidly Copters begin ferrying firewood, ghee Move to identify bodies,...

  • Hundreds of corpses decomposing rapidly
  • Copters begin ferrying firewood, ghee
  • Move to identify bodies, take DNA samples
  • SC told evacuation to be over in 72 hrs if weather permits
Dehradun/ New Delhi (Agencies): Amid fears of an epidemic outbreak, authorities on Tuesday began preparations for the identification and mass cremation of those who died, especially in Kedarnath as hundreds of corpses in the Kedarnath valley are decomposing rapidly. Uttarakhand
As part of the efforts to perform their last rites as per tradition, the government first sought views from religious seers and started arranging for 50 tonnes of wood and ghee. Truckloads of dry deodar wood and cans of ghee have been despatched to Kedarnath. The process of mass ritual cremation would begin after the bodies were identified and DNA samples collected. The ash would be later distributed to the kith and kin of the dead. The defence and paramilitary officials involved in the relief and rescue operations on Tuesday suspended the air evacuation of those stranded in Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib Axis due to inclement weather. Meanwhile, in its Action Taken Report (ATR) submitted to the Supreme Court, the Uttarakhand government said that the clearing of debris from different areas is high on its agenda. Responding to a query from the Supreme Court about the rescue work being completed so far, the State government said that it aims to complete the evacuation of all the stranded pilgrims in the next 72 hours if weather remains favourable. The Action Taken Report also says that the top priority is identification and disposal of dead bodies. Efforts are being made for listing of missing people, the report added. The submission was made after the Supreme Court, acting on a PIL, asked the Centre and Uttarakhand government to step up rescue operations to evacuate people caught in flash floods in the State. In its ATR, the Centre said that a total of 1189 air sorties were done by the Indian Air Force while the Army has carried out 419. By June 23, a total 96,500 people were evacuated by all agencies and free transport is being arranged for all people to reach their respective destinations and more than 4000 vehicles have been deployed to bring the stranded people to Haridwar and Dehradun, the ATR said. The report said that 80 per cent of telecommunication facilities have been restored and 77 satellite phones have been distributed by the Centre to various agencies. The state government further said there is no shortage of food items and essential supplies in the disaster-affected areas and 50,000 bottles of water and 50,000 packets of biscuits and 45,000 ready-to-eat food packets have been made available and the government is organising relief camps for the disaster �hit people at 62 different places.
Pulling out no stops
Landing its first big helicopter in the difficult Kedarnath area, the IAF not only dropped logistics for funeral of the dead in the area but also picked a few mortal souls. NHRC seeks report Concerned over the devastating floods in Uttarakhand, NHRC has sought reports and will send its own team for an on-the-spot assessment.
No to any more VIPs
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has asked the Uttarakhand government not to allow any VIP to land in the flood-ravaged areas to pre-empt any disturbance to relief work. Rescue ops in Kedarnath over Search and rescue operation in Kedarnath and surrounding areas is over for all practical purposes. No more survivors have been found and defence and paramilitary personnel are now wrapping up their mission. Commandos deployed Garuds, the self-contained special force commando teams, have been sent to Uttarakhand to help with rescue operations
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